ABOUT OPERAVANT, Inc.
OperAvant, Inc., formerly known as AMOUR Productions, is an opera-theater company dedicated to reinvigorating your stage-going experiences! We are excited that we are back in business after a lengthy hiatus! Originally formed in 1998 by Artistic/Music Director Tamara Cashour for the purpose of staging her NYU Masters Thesis (a feminist deconstruction of a repertory work) OperAvant, Inc. formally incorporated in 2009. As Ms. Cashour divides her time among several interdisciplinary arts/music/theatre/writing activities, the company was temporarily suspended in 2013 to accommodate her rigorous schedule.
And then...Pandemic times cancelled our 2019-20 season. But we're back, and ready to excite your opera-going experience with unusual stagings of both new contemporary and time-beloved repertoire. We define "opera" loosely--to mean any work for the stage that involves a theatrical and or musical component (including instrumental and vocal chamber music, poetry readings and mixed-media, genre-crossing interdisciplinary works). Stagings honor composer-librettist intent while "pushing the envelope" to spark your academic and aesthetic experiences of a work. OperAvant, Inc.: Opera Ahead of It's Time!
Our Mission Statement
OperAvant is a highly interdisciplinary company in every sense of the word. Disciplines from the various arts, humanities, social and applied sciences are all welcome here, and we find creative ways to contribute aspects and pedagogies from these disciplines to our performances and make them understandable to audiences.
OperAvant specializes in deconstructionist stagings of existing repertory works through avant-garde writing and staging techniques. Many of these techniques were developed by Artistic Director Tamara Cashour in her Masters Degree program at New York University’s Gallatin School, where she spent seven years researching and developing a feminist aesthetic for opera in terms of all of opera’s components: Music, Theatre, Costuming, Props, Set, Plotline and Narrative, and other performance texts. The core concept of her studies was deconstruction, which is a concept originated by philosopher Jacques Derrida as a means to broaden conceptions/interpretations of various "texts" across a range of disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities and the Arts. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deconstruction.
Every deconstruction is different, and intersects with the original work such as to bring to light what has hitherto remained invisible or unaddressed in both historical and modern stagings. "To deconstruct is not to destroy"; you will find our productions thoroughly researched historically such that our performative slant dialogues with, and refreshes, the original work by seeking out previously unexamined issues in the original without necessarily negating them. The original work is always our best source material, and it, along with its composer and librettist, are respected throughout our deconstruction process. Deconstruction goes beyond the mere imposition of an "updating" or abstractionist staging onto a period work in an effort to make it "relevant" to modern sensibilities (often such tactics end up creating more irrelevance!) A work is shown in its multi-faceted breadth and scope in light of modern perspective, but not necessarily in adherence to those sensibilities. Thus, the true power and relevance of a work over time, beyond its status as a period artifact, is revealed. We always first honor the original work (called a "text" in Deconstruction) by starting with a concert performance of the piece. From there, we build and stage several incarnations, all reflecting various angles of understanding. We take the time to analyze and"play with" aspects of a text in order to reveal its hidden qualities.
OperAvant will also stage new works by living composers, granting parity to women composers and members of other underrepresented groups in the discipline of composition. OperAvant is committed to diversity and professional excellence in its hiring practices and personnel choices. OperAvant does not discriminate on the basis of: age, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, body type, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by law.
We are currently building a core artistic team and will be holding ongoing interviews in the spring of 2022 for singers, directors, musicians and designers/costumers. Working with OperAvant will be both challenging and rewarding. We honor an approach that is inclusive of yeomanship, creativity and collegiality. Most importantly, we do not simply perform for audiences--we engage them intellectually and are interested in radically changing their views not in a superficial manner, but in a humanist, even scientific, one. We engage with social and world issues and offer both discussion and suggested solutions.
Are you ready to take the challenge?!! We ideally seek applicants with an interdisciplinary 'bent', such as having talent in at least two (2) stage arts or showing competency in one or more academic or technical arenas. For example, if you are a singer who also knows how to operate a mixer board, we're interested in knowing more about you. Are you a violinist as well as a published literary critic? We're interested in talking to you. Did you study neuroscience before becoming an actor, and also play Bach in your spare time? Hello! Give us a shout at: Whatsup@operavantinc.com